How To Support Your Employees Through a Crisis
How can you support your employees through a crisis?
- Maintain transparency and communicate regularly about company circumstances
- Show empathy and express willingness to provide support
- Set interim productivity goals
- Build a greater sense of community at work
- Encourage employees to take time off
Crises have unprecedented consequences. This fact was proven following the sudden onset of the COVID-19 which devastated companies all over the world. The pandemic led to coworkers separating, straying away from business-as-usual routines, and a drop in employee morale. According to the best leadership podcast in the Philippines, leaders should be accessible for their employees in times of crisis. Employees will inevitably look up to their leaders to guide them through adversity. In this article, we’ve listed down effective ways on how to support employees through a crisis.
As a leader, you are not only responsible for keeping your company afloat, but also for supporting your employees. The current crisis has negative implications for your operation’s bottom line partly because it reduces employee productivity and increases job burnout, stress, and distrust. So, you must be prepared to think forward and prioritize the well-being of your employees. Good leaders provide a clear vision of the organization’s future and act as a source of the team’s confidence.
Step up and continue reading to learn how to support your employees through a crisis.
Maintain Transparency and Communicate Regularly About Company Circumstances
During a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, life as we know it will be disrupted. As a result, your workers may feel less disconnected, productive, and hopeful. This is the time to practice clear communication to help your employees manage anxiety.
As a leader, you must constantly provide updates to make sure your employees feel up to date with what is happening with the organization. Be upfront about significant developments that can help your team. This will go a long way in making your employees feel the stability to focus on their work.
Be transparent, especially when it comes to unfortunate news. It is particularly challenging to relay news like layoffs or reduced revenues, but transparency is more important than ever during a crisis. In the long run, you will gain more credibility in the eyes of your employees.
Show Empathy and Express Willingness To Provide Support
Your employees will be facing unprecedented changes during crises. They will have different living situations, different degrees of familiarity with remote work settings, and different socio-economic conditions.
For example, during a pandemic where everyone is forced to adapt to work-from-home settings, your employees may be held responsible for caring for kids or doing household errands. This may make it more difficult to juggle the typically 9 to 5 workday. Your employees may also have looming concerns about their family’s health and financial status. For this reason, leaders should acknowledge and show empathy.
Encourage your employees to voice out their current work pressures or concerns. Express your willingness to adapt as your employees will appreciate it during these trying times. Be flexible enough to provide individualized crisis care.
For instance, employees experiencing health problems may be provided paid sick leaves. While employees experiencing remote work problems may be provided appropriate tech gadget support.
When leaders try to understand their employees’ unique crisis needs, it creates a sense of individualized support, encouraging employees to accomplish work goals and be part of the company’s success.
Set Interim Productivity Goals
A crisis also signals economic uncertainty. It can be tempting to compensate for productivity or sales loss by pushing your employees harder. However, good leaders should put their people first.
Your employees are also battling a crisis and dealing with circumstances that are outside of their control. As a leader, you need to be realistic about what your employees can accomplish at the moment. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to adopt flexible work hours and set interim productivity goals. Remember that your employees should be a priority right now.
Build A Greater Sense Of Community At Work
Stress and anxiety are especially common during a crisis. In an attempt to show your support to employees, you can suggest ways to keep teams connected and bring positivity to your workplace. If your employees have free time, plan out game nights or other team bonding activities to alleviate stress.
Encourage Employees To Take Time Off
The hardest thing about working during a crisis is that it can blur the lines between work and personal life. Employees feel more pressured to be connected 24/7, which may lead to burnout.
Knowing this, encourage your team to take time off when they need to. Let them disconnect during non-work hours without any guilt. Tell them to value their well-being. Doing so will make your employees feel more supported.
In this article, we’ve rounded up ways on how to support your employees through a crisis. During the current pandemic, there is a great opportunity for leaders to rebuild their workplace stronger than before through transparency, empathy, and commitment to employee well-being.
Want more leadership insights from expert business owners? Tune in to the best leadership podcast in the Philippines — the Leadership Stack. We invite entrepreneurs from different industries to provide the best leadership tips during a crisis. Click here to start listening now!